The other day I discovered what aircraft contrails really are. The Reptile Elite who secretly Rule the World are using every commercial aircraft as a weapon. The chemtrails interact with 5G death rays to fjkiyjigle bargle and profit, gooberflop blib conspiracy wyjhuw evil control gubblibble. Makes perfect sense.
In short, why bother learning about fluid dynamics and air saturation temperatures when you can explain persistent high-altitude vapour trails in terms of organised malice – all at the hands of invisible aliens who, somehow, have managed to fit chemtrail gear to every single commercial aircraft without anybody noticing. Oh, that’s right, every single aircraft manufacturer, government agency and airline are part of it, along with anybody who denies it. After all, if you deny it then obviously you’re part of the cover up.
The actual explanation for vapour trails is simple and has been well understood for decades. The phenomenon was first observed en masse during the Second World War, when large bombers were able to fly at the altitudes required to produce the effect. The trails stem from a combination of factors, including temperature. This must be low enough for water vapour to form ice crystals. Into that flows (literally) engine exhaust products, which include water vapour among other things – something true, indeed, of both piston and jet engines. Other exhaust components can act as ‘nucleation’ centres around which ice crystals can form.
To that is added the aerodynamic shape of the aircraft. Air contains a certain amount of water vapour naturally (‘humidity’), and aircraft, by nature, produce low-pressure zones across the wings. These are occasionally complicated by vortices created by various protruberances. Because a sudden drop in pressure also reduces the temperature of the air – and because the amount of water that air can carry is a function of both – it’s quite possible for an aircraft to generate water vapour behind it simply by the act of flying.
Both of these together produce the characteristic contrail. It’s a product of the basic physics of high-altitude aviation. No conspiracy required. So why is the ‘chemtrail’ conspiracy so persistent? The real explanation is human nature. It’s been subject to a variety of studies – here, for instance. People are hard-wired to see patterns, even where none exist; and such patterns also offer apparently simple explanations. We are also conditioned – including through the school system – to imagine that there is a single and objective answer to any problem. You can see where this is going – a conspiracy theory offers a very simple explanation for phenomena that, in fact, stem from complex causes and where the explanation often cannot be reduced to a single objective data-point.
Conspiracy theories, by contrast – of which the chemtrail idea is but one – are far simpler. And such explanations, it seems, also create a sense of place and of self-worth which a scientific discussion doesn’t. So for people who are feeling disempowered and cynical that’s an appealing combination. Thus the chemtrail conspiracy, among many others, has gained ground – a phenomenon that has no actual existence but which, to those who believe it, is very real indeed.
Personally, when it comes to aircraft contrails, I’d rather put my faith in Daniel Bernoulli – the 18th century dude who basically invented modern fluid dynamics.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2021